Did Kirby Smart make a smart decision?
The Alabama defensive coordinator’s decision to stay in Tuscaloosa on Monday is not going to hurt his resume. He’ll soak up concepts and blitz packages from Nick Saban for another season. That’s like another World Tour mastering chords with Eric Clapton.
At the same time, he declined a lucrative package to coordinate Georgia’s defense. He said UGa, his alma mater, was the only school he’d consider making a lateral move to.
While Smart was an All-SEC safety in Athens and is good friends with Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, staying in Tuscaloosa has it benefits, and it’s not just working with Saban. Smart reportedly will double his salary by staying at UA.
But was it really a lateral move? Georgia was an SEC power where his voice alone would shape its defense. That is not the case at Alabama.
No matter if he leaves the Tide in 2010 or 2013, there will be those who wonder if Alabama’s stout defense is the product of what’s between Smart’s ears, or Saban’s. Fair or not, that will be a concern for any school that hires him.
His decision might mirror the one Rolando McClain made. Is he ready now? How much better can he get with another season with Saban?